Bloated Man's Grotto is a cave located in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is a small area surrounded by short cliffs that consists of a Shrine of Talos and a circular pathway that wraps around the back of the cave to the entrance. It can easily be reached from Riverwood by walking across the White River to the northwest, past Anise's Cabin and through Brittleshin Pass, then heading due west.


After the Thalmor attacked Cloud Ruler Temple, Acilius Bolar was the only known survivor of the attack. From there, he traveled north to Skyrim, eventually ending up in the grotto.

However, he was pursued by the Thalmor and as such, to prevent the Thalmor from "desecrating" the shrine, went to "face his death with honor."[1] This suggests that he left the grotto and hoped that, if the Thalmor killed him, then they would not enter the grotto and would thus be unable to destroy the shrine to Talos.


Find Runil's JournalEdit

Runil asks to find his journal, which may be here as a possible location for Runil's Journal.

Ill Met by MoonlightEdit

Hircine commands that the Dragonborn venture to Bloated Man's Grotto and kill Sinding, in order to send him to Hircine's Hunting Grounds. Arriving inside, they will find that Sinding has killed a group of warriors, consisting of some Hunters of Hircine. J'Kier will speak to the Dragonborn, telling them to avenge them, before dying. The Dragonborn approaches Sinding, and is given a choice: kill him, or spare him by turning on the other hunters. If the former is chosen, then an aspect of Hircine will appear after skinning Sinding inside the grotto. If the latter is chosen, then Hircine will appear just outside.

Shalidor's InsightsEdit

One of the chests inside can be a possible location for the book.

Notable itemsEdit

  • Bolar's Oathblade – A unique Blades sword. Note: Blade may not be there if III Met By Moonlight is activated before exploring the area, the shrine having been destroyed and the blade missing.
  • Bolar's Writ – The final note left by Bolar, the last Blade who survived the attack on Cloud Ruler Temple.
  • Four hawk's nests:
    1. Near the top of the central rocky peak, due south of the Shrine of Talos.
    2. Due west of [1], near the end of a rocky outcropping.
    3. Further south from [1], is another nest resting on the inaccessible mountains.
    4. Northwest from [3], is another nest on the surrounding mountains.
  • One gold ore vein:
    1. Hidden next to a large waterfall, on top of the rocks.


Alchemy ingredientsEdit



  • A bottle of Skooma can be found on a dead Nord's body, hidden behind Bolar's Oathblade.
  • In the quest "Ill Met By Moonlight," the moon turns red, as it is Hircine's Bloodmoon.
  • Using the Detect Life spell inside the cove shows all hostile characters as friendly until they are approached.
  • Despite the appearance of being an outdoor area, fast traveling is disabled while inside the grotto.
  • Entering the grotto when directed by the quest "Ill Met By Moonlight" will result in the time being set to 11 pm upon entering, unless one enters the grotto between 7pm and 2am.


This section contains bugs related to Bloated Man's Grotto. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  • After the quest is complete, the area may not be marked as cleared.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Sinding may respawn.
  •  PC   360   Sometimes, if the cave is re-entered after completing the quest "Ill Met by Moonlight," the cave will still be part of Hircine's realm. Further progress into the grotto may become blocked, as though there is an invisible wall. To exit the cave, simply walk back towards the entrance.



Start a Discussion Discussions about Bloated Man's Grotto

  • Shrine of Talos in Bloated Man's Grotto

    17 messages
    • Hey, For Those That Started The Quest: Don't Progress In It ; Just Go To Bloated Mans Grotto, And Find The Shrine, And It Should Be There....
    • If you spared Sinding then go back and kill him.  THEN wait 1 in game month and return to bloated man's grotto to get the sword.
  • No Sinding in Grotto?

    18 messages
    • The guards don't seem to notice
    • If you leave the grotto, wait 24 hours, and go back in, everything should fix.
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